Brewery accused of 'greed' and told to apologise for 'inappropriate' beer with Hindu goddess image on label

Religion 'should not be taken frivolously', says top devotee

Josh Payne
Thursday 23 August 2018 15:41
Undated handout photo issued by the Universal Society of Hinduism of the Tollgate Brewery image for its Kalika IPA
Undated handout photo issued by the Universal Society of Hinduism of the Tollgate Brewery image for its Kalika IPA

A brewery has been urged to apologise over an “inappropriate” beer named for a Hindu goddess and featuring her image on the label.

Members of the Hindu community criticised Tollgate Brewery over its Kalika IPA, which showed a picture of the goddess Kalika, also known as Kali.

The goddess is “highly revered in Hinduism and is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed”, according to Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.

The brewery said it has withdrawn the beer and does not plan to brew it in the future.

The goddess, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in Hinduism and is considered the goddess of time and change.

Mr Zed said: “Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda is not OK as it hurts the devotees.

“Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously.

“Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled.”

The beer was listed under the brewery’s Light Beers category and is described as “well hopped dark gold IPA” and “brewed in the heart of the National Forest”.

The East Midlands-based brewery, a member of the Society of Independent Brewers, was founded in 2005 and describes itself as “traditionalist in style” and a "microbrewery with a big ambition”.

It is a six-barrel real ale craft brewery and has three micropub outlets in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, Leicester and Duffield in Derbyshire.

A spokesman for Tollgate Brewery said: “Kalika is no longer brewed. We have no cask stocks at the brewery. There are no plans to brew it further.”

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